Saint Clair Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Merlot 2016

Full bodied with ripe black Doris plum, wild blackberries and a silky spiced chocolate texture.

Omahu Road, Gimblett Gravels winegrowing district, Hawke’s Bay.

Soils: Vigour moderating free draining gravel.
Topography: Flat, even site with a gradual slope.
Climate: Warm, sheltered site.

Regional characteristics and contribution to uniqueness of flavours:
Warm days and cooler nights with gravel rich vigour-moderating soils all contribute to small berries which give this wine concentration, perfume and a deep rich colour.

This outstanding fruit was sourced from a single vineyard within the Gimblett Gravels winegrowing district of Hawke’s bay. The vigour moderating, free draining gravel provides a superb base for this low cropping Merlot. This vineyard site has ideal ripening conditions for achieving the full aromatic profile and tannin structure that Merlot can give. The fruit was carefully monitored during ripening and harvested in the cool evening at maximum flavour maturity and physiological ripeness.

Grapes were de-stemmed into small stainless steel fermenters for a five-day cold soak to help maximise flavour and colour extraction. The juice was inoculated with specialised yeast to complete fermentation and then hand plunged and pumped over for gentle extraction of flavour colour and tannin. The young wine was kept in contact with skins and tasted daily until the right extraction and balance was achieved then gently pressed. Once settled it was then racked to 26 per cent new and 74 per cent seasoned French oak barrels where it underwent secondary fermentation (malolactic fermentation). After ageing on light lees the wine was blended, fined, balanced and carefully prepared for bottling.

Very dense ruby core with thin purple highlights in the rim.

Dense aromas of wild blackberry, ripe plums and hints of dark chocolate combine with new leather, espresso coffee and a hint of spice.

Rich, full bodied and concentrated with layers of ripe dark berries, black Doris plums and dark chocolate. The texture is silky smooth with hints of new leather, tobacco and spice followed with a long finish.

Perfect for drinking immediately this wine will continue to develop and delight for a minimum of five years from vintage date.

Wine analysis:
Alcohol 13.5% v/v, Acidity 5.3g/litre, pH 3.58

Food match:
Delicious with lightly spiced exotic dishes.

GOLD Medal - Mondial du Merlot 2018

GOLD Medal - New Zealand Royal Easter Wine Show 2018

5 STARS - Michael Cooper 2018

5 STARS - Raymond Chan 2018